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Monday, May 4, 2015

Happy Birthday my little man!



So I'm way behind... I know.
 It's taken me a bit to have enough time to just sit down and write on here without falling asleep with my hands still perched on the keyboard!

The big day has come and gone.

What big day?

My handsome little man Kai Nicolas Russell has turned 2!



Oh my gawd I just can't believe its already been TWO WHOLE YEARS!!

Time flies when your having fun I guess!

Of course little man asked for a Spiderman cake:



It may not be a fancy Pinterest cake, but he was absolutely thrilled,

So I was pretty proud of myself :)






We had a ton of fun... eating spaghetti, and cake, having water fights, and of course opening presents!! Kai loved all his presents.. but by far the coolest are the paintings his Auntie Dani made for him:


This gurl has skill... I'm so proud of her!

Kai was more than excited to add them to his collection..


All and all it was a perfect night! 
Now its just a countdown till the BIG birthday party in two weeks! 



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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Noisy Snails - Book Review



Anyone who knows Ryan & I knows we live for our cars. Motorheads through & through. Very early in our relationship Ryan turned me toward the dark & delicious side of being a grease monkey. I already had a bit of a emotional foundation from my dad & uncle, but Ryan introduced me to a whole new world. And I loved it!

When we found out we were having our first son, Kai... we were so excited! We couldn't wait to teach him everything we knew! The in and out of a motor and how everything works and why. Maybe being lucky enough to have him share our passion with us.

We realized very quickly that unfortunately there isn't much in the market for children s books geared toward the average car enthusiast & their kid. We were really bummed.. & then somewhere along the way heard whispers about the snails....

The Noisy Snails that is!


via

The Noisy Snails is a short story written by young first time author Michael.J. Meyers.
via

"My name is Michael J. Myers and I have been a MotorHead from the start. I was raised in South Jersey and have been here ever since. Growing up the difference between most of my friends and I was the location of our toys. When my friends wanted to "play" they went to the toy chest or the closet. My toys were in my garage. Between my dirtbikes, quads and Dad's classic car all I needed was dirt trails and open roads in place of a playground. While I never intended to sit down and begin writing children’s books, for I am a 23-year-old MotorHead, the idea came to me one day and has consumed me ever since. The Noisy Snails started as a vision that worked its way into a book, and then into a series of books...The MotorHeadGarage Series." 
-MotorHead Garage Productions ATA Page

The Noisy Snails is a book about twin "snails" (stock turbos) in a Supra that go to Motorhead Raceways to pick up their new "shells" (Upgraded turbos) They end up in a race against their friend Walter, a supercharger in a Mustang. 





This is an adorable short story with brightly colored, fantastic artwork and a superb way to introduce a little one to cars in a tangible, understandable way. 



Plus it's super fun to read, making all the car noises the best you can!

We had contacted Michael before the book was released and expressed our enthusiasm for his new project! I was still pregnant at the time but was so stocked for a story like this for Kai's already growing library. When we had troubles ordering Michael worked with us personally to ship the book to us, even adding a little note just for Kai!


We were so thankful, & Ryan read it to Kai every night until he was born! We still read it at least once a week, and it always goes on any road trip we take! We can never get enough! We love these books and can't wait to have a whole section of them to choose from in our library!

We adore you Michael, 
You have lifetime fans in us!

If you want to add this wonderful book to your library, check it out HERE on Amazon!Check back later for a review of Michael Myers 2nd book in the series,
 The Sideways Sliders!

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* I was in no way reimbursed for this review. All views expressed here are my own. I purchased the book and approached Michael Myers myself to write this book review in hopes of sharing his wonderful series with as many people as I could! *

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Oil Obsessed



I have a new obsession.

An addiction even.

I have recently jumped aboard the Essential Oils train & I cannot get enough!
Specifically dōTERRA Essential Oils




Seriously! If you have no idea what I'm talking about let me break it down for you. 




You know when springtime hits & all the flowers start to bloom? That intoxicating smell that fills the air? During the summer when your days are filled with barbecues & sunshine how just a whiff of an ice cold glass of real fresh lemonade can make you realize just how thirsty you really are. Or what about when the Fall winds have you retiring inside early for dinner to cook your favorite spaghetti sauce & right as you add in the Oregano you catch that robust spicy scent & your mouth begins to water? That warm cinnamon in your cocoa when that winter snow has you bundled up by the fire?


If your memory has been fully refreshed remembering all those wonderfully rich scents then you have fully experienced the wonderful aromatic qualities of essential oils.

EO's (Essential Oils) are:
 "naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully and powerfully fragrant. In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils protect plants and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health care practices."
- dōTERRA essential oils definition


And I am telling you I. Am. In. LOVE!!

 Since I've always been one to avoid overused medications where I can, I've used the aromatic benefits of EO's in helping with my bipolar before. Diffusing Wild Orange & Peppermint has been the norm, Filling my home with these delicious smells while simultaneously calming my nerves & uplifting my moods. This is especially helpful since I choose not to use the anti-psychotics that were prescribed to me for my bipolar. I can't stand the robot way they make me feel, and I can't take them while pregnant or nursing. If I am taking them and find out I'm pregnant I have to immediately stop, throwing my balance completely out of whack. That makes me very uncomfortable. 

What I have learned this last month though has amazed me! I didn't know how many other things EO's could help with! I get serious headaches and swollen sinuses almost nightly that keep me from sleeping, but a peppermint & lavender rollerball used on the back of my neck and shoulders, even a little on my temples.. ohmygod! The cooling peppermint helps so much while the lavender gently relaxes me to sleep. When the headache progresses to that mind-splitting migraine that refuses to leave me alone for 4...6...8 hours... My PastTense rollerball kills it in less than 30 seconds!

The greatest thing is it doesn't stop there! EO's are so amazing, they can be used for so many other things! Making dōTERRA 's tagline so much more understandable.




Just the other morning I decided to play around, adding a few oils to our breakfast pancakes. I took regular old Bisquick blueberry pancake mix and made it per the directions. But before I poured some onto the pan I added a bit of dōTERRA's OnGuard blend and a bit of Lavender... (about two drops each) and mixed it in well. After pouring onto my pan I added some sliced banana to give a good vitamin boost. Plus anything with banana's will be devoured in my home as it seems to be a top favorite! 



I didn't notice any overpowering smell while cooking. It wasn't until we sat down and started eating the you could instantly taste the new flavors present! Swirls of orange & cinnamon from the OnGuard layering very nicely with the sweet lavender only to be pumped with little fruit bursts from the banana & blueberry! It was awesome! And was the first time Ryan & Kai have gone back for seconds on pancakes alone! :)

There are so many other uses as well! Cooking, cleaning, baking... the list goes on and on!


               

Essential Oils have even begun to hit the news since medical offices across the country are taking notice of their superb outcomes!


KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

 If you haven't gotten on the Essential Oils bandwagon yet then ask yourself this:

Why in the HECK not?!?!

Seriously! There are no damages done, it's all natural, and so far it has RAVE reviews from anyone I've ever known to give them a try! Sounds too good to be true? why don't you check out my Pinterest board HERE and see how many things EO's can help you with!

Have I tickled your interest? Want to know more?
Send me a message, or just comment below and I'll help in any way I can.
You can even head straight to the website to take a look around yourself!

www.mydoterra.com/jaimierussell



Ask me how I can get you wholesale pricing like me!!


This has been the best decision I have ever made for myself & my family. 
Lets give your life a dōTERRA make-over! 
Trust me, you'll be SO glad you did!!



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Monday, March 9, 2015

Mommy Don't You Worry - Children's Book Review



Finding books to read with Kai is no hard task. My son loves books! 


Books with lots of pictures, books with lots of words. He loves them all!

Every now and again I come across a book that's not just for fun, but also for teaching valuable lessons that would otherwise be hard to bring up in conversation or explain to a two year old. Finding one that Kai actually will stay interested in with his very short attention span doesn't happen often. 

That's why I really enjoyed "Mommy don't you worry" by Louie Lawent.


You may recognize Louie's name from the book "Gertie the Pig" which is already used in schools all over the U.S. as part of the National Accelerated Readers Program. He is also a lyricist co-authoring on Grammy winning CD tracks, enjoys table tennis & an avid Green Bay Packers fan**

http://www.amazon.com/Momma-Dont-Worry-Louie-Lawent-ebook/product-reviews/B00SVE6M6I/ref=cm_cr_pr_btm_link_2?ie=UTF8&pageNumber=2&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=byRankDescending

In his latest story, a young boy goes to the store with his mother but becomes frustrated when she wants to hold his hand instead of letting him walk on his own like he feels he's old enough to do. When the boy wanders off on his own & gets lost the story becomes a tale of just how scary it can be on your own when your not as ready as you think you are. With a happy ending as well this book helps put listening to your parent for good reason on a reachable level for a toddler. 

Short, sweet, & to the point with adorable illustrations & a poetic rhythm.
Reading this through with Kai was so enjoyable that he asked to read it two extra times! 

Not to say this is without my own critiques. As a parent and a blogger I pride myself in giving honest opinions in my reviews. When reading things others have written about a product I am showing interest in I want to know the truth to how they feel, so I can make an educated opinion before buying. 

The only things I would change about this book, is I would love for it to have bigger pictures and definitely more of them. I know that's hard for a book with only 12 pages, but it would be something that would push this book towards higher sales. I also wish the cover illustration matched those in the book. While I thoroughly loved the story and the pictures inside have wonderful color & depth, the cover art looks a little like cute cut & paste Clip-art in windows paint. I think a revamp of this book with those two small changes would absolutely make this book far more interesting to a broader reach of audience.

I greatly appreciate the opportunity I was given to share this book with Kai 
& the conversation it then opened between him, my husband & I. 
I look forward to checking out more from this author.

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If you think "Mommy don't you worry" sounds like a great fit for your family library, check it & other parent reviews of the book out HERE on Amazon for only $1.29! 

For more on Louie, check out his Facebook HERE.

*Request for this review was made by the author. I was given a free PDF of the book & cover art with written permission to read, review, & share the cover art in return for an honest review here on my blog. All views & opinions expressed in this post are mine & mine alone. I was not paid or compensated in anyway for this review.*

** Info Collected from Smashwords.com **


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Only My Mother, Episode one.



My mother is a very complicated creature.
The patience she demands from a person can be infuriating, but the payout will almost always be worth it. Now, I know that this thought process comes from a place of bias as her oldest daughter... but know that even though I am the first person to call my mother on her shit, I am also ALWAYS the one who will fight tooth and nail for her. You want to try & take a piece of her? You want to come at her? You want to try and hurt her? You will have to find your way through me first, and when it comes to her I am never one to budge. 
Good Luck.

As bad as things can get, she is always there for me. No matter what. 
She has always said that to me:
"It's us against the world, Babygurl."

I LOVE my Momma.

That does not mean I am not one prone to also laugh at her expense every once in awhile... a lot of the time my mother can be a pretty good source of entertainment.

Like a few weeks ago. I had called her to check in since she is working hard on renovating her new home from the inside out. I'm talking bought a shell of a house that has been vacant for years and living in an RV in the driveway while they GUT the place and start from scratch. 

And with way more calm than I ever imagined she would have in this situation. But then she reminds me that she is so close to cracking with her recollection of the night before:

"Oh you should have seen it. So we put a gate up since people are obviously still coming up here thinking this place is vacant and dumping their trash. We have left lights on and I let Rory out regularly."

(Rory being their roughly 60lb pitbull mix puppy.)

"Well ya know Eric had to leave to go do something, I can't remember what... but it was getting late & I was a little scared. He told me not to worry, and that if I was scared just to let Rory out that she would scare anyone away easy. Then he said if I was still scared he would leave me the shotgun. At first I was all "oh okay" but after a few minutes I thought, "Wait.. the shotgun?! What do you expect me to to with that?!" And he laughed at me!"

"I'm not sure why leaving you alone and armed is a laughing matter?" 
 I said with a hint of giggles through me sarcasm.

 "Right?! That's what I thought too! I mean I couldn't shoot somebody! I mean I could but I really wouldn't want to and I would probably pee myself or have a heart attack before I even aimed the gun!"

At this point I'm not even hiding my snickering.

"Well did he leave it?"

"Well yes, but unloaded."

"As much as I agree whole heartedly with leaving you ammo-less.. what was his angle?"

This is where she gets serious.

"Well he said "no babe it's okay. God forbid Rory doesn't already scare whoever it is off, but if you are still afraid someone is out there just open the door, stand on the stoop, shout that you have a gun and they need to leave and cock the gun. That sound will scare anyone else away." I thought that sounded pretty good so I agreed."

"Okay... "

"Well awhile after he left I got scared. I thought someone was outside. I waited to make sure it wasn't him, and then after a few minutes I threw open the door & yelled as loud as I could:

"MY DOG WILL EAT YOU! YOU NEED TO LEAVE! OR I WILL SHOOT! *CHA-CHINK!* 
*CHA-CHINK!* *CHA-CHINK!* SICK EM RORY! *CHA-CHINK!* *CHA-CHINK!*"

I took a split second to process what I had just heard, and began to cry from laughing so hard. I could not stop myself. This was to much.

"Mom. Was the "Cha-chink" you cocking the gun?" 
"Yes! I was petrified!"
"So you just kept cocking it?"
"Well yes! Eric said the sound would scare them!"

At this point I couldn't see straight. She was standing her ground and all I could picture was her on the step of the RV in her pajama pants, squinting into the darkness because she can't see without her glasses and yelling at nothing while constantly re-cocking this gun that is already to big and awkward in her hands. My laughter was uncontrollable.

"Momma! You can't keep cocking the gun like that! If there was a person outside, all you did was inform them that you are an easy target with an unloaded gun & no idea what you are doing!"
"Well that's what Eric said when he got home too. I told him he coulda told me that before hand to which he stated he thought it was an un-needed explanation. He thought this was pretty hilarious as well. I'm not sure how my impending doom is so entertaining."

 "Momma, they probably left because the felt bad attacking a person with mental disabilities."

"I coulda died!" 

"But you didn't. You'll be fine. Atleast you got a great story out of it. And hey! 
You learned something new about your shotgun."

"Your going to put this in your blog aren't you?"

"Ellen will have me on her show one day."

These are the things you see characters do in movies, not in real life. Unless its my mother. With her, things that you can think of only in your imagination have probably already been her reality. 

Only my mother. :)


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